Everything Else


Dear Grocery Store Bagger –

I like you, I really do. You are usually an adorable little old man who wants to chat me up as you push my cart of groceries out to my car with me. Sometimes you’re a teenage boy (who also likes to chat me up as you walk my groceries to my car).

But, even though I like you, I have a problem with you.

Do you see these bags? Those would be my reusable shopping bags. I have about six or seven of them, and they are always with me at the grocery store. Look: I even have one specifically for wine bottles! I’m awesome! HOWEVER, Mr. Grocery Store Bagger, you don’t seem to understand the concept of these bags.

The purpose of these little guys is to help save the environment by reducing the number of plastic bags I use. Yes, they are larger than the standard plastic grocery bags, so theoretically you can put more of my goods in them. However, that DOES NOT mean I want you to attempt to pack my entire grocery cart into a single bag. That is why I have so many of them! You are more than welcome to place my groceries in all of them. Actually, I would prefer it that way. When you pack these grocery bags to full capacity (even when I explicitly say to you, “please don’t pack them too full…use all the bags if you need to!”) I have a REALLY hard time carrying them. Have you taken a look at me? Does it look like I can realistically carry bags that weigh almost as much as I do? Let’s be reasonable. On another note: I don’t want my delicate tomatoes mixed in with canned goods. Really? Those should never be together. Also, it would be nice if you actually used the wine bag for my bottles, instead of placing them in with my regular groceries and then handing me back the bag as if you had no idea what it was for. It says “wine” on the bag…seriously.

Oh, Mr. Grocery Store Bagger, I appreciate you, but you need a wake-up call. Please listen to me next time when I instruct you on how I want my groceries packed. Honestly, my next move is going to be to come around my cart to your station, shove you out of the way, and pack the gosh darn bags myself.




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  • I pretty much always go through the self-checkout aisle. Or I choose a line where I CAN pack my own groceries. Nobody does it right. A bag of chips does not go on the bottom of a bag with jars of spaghetti sauce and a watermelon. That just doesn’t work.

  • Target does this to me all the time! I bring in like 5 bags and I always leave with two of them packed to the max, and the others empty. Yet when I forget the bags, they seem to bag in such a way that I end up with 12 of their plastic bags for 15 items. Ugh.

  • Amen! Whenever I DO get someone who packs my reusable bags well, I always make it a point to thank them profusely for not overloading them. But, mostly, I prefer to just do it myself. Plus, then I can pack things according to where they’ll go in the kitchen, making unloading them easier on myself.

  • Oh man, our grocery store is the worst about this! They always pack my reusable bags so full that I’m scared they’re gonna break if I try to carry them!

  • Haha, this is funny because I feel the opposite! I usually only bring two bags but I love the giant ones from Whole Foods. I plan what I buy specifically because I know it can all fit in those two bags, but the bagger always tries to give me extra plastic bags. Fill ‘er up, I say!

  • i pack my own anyway! i used to work at dillon’s (kroger’s are called dillon’s here…) and the people here are total morons on how to pack a bag! if i don’t go through the self checkout, i always say, “if you just put the food at the end of the counter, i can bag it!” they (usually) listen and leave me alone! 🙂

  • Isn’t knowing not to do things like putting tomatoes and canned goods in one bag kind of part of the job training for a grocery store bagger?

    • Nicole – Yes, I definitely think that is part of training…not that I have personal experience. However, so many of the baggers at my store are really old men, and I guess they just don’t care? Maybe? I have no clue!

  • And this is why I go to the self-check out lane! Or.. I don’t know if Publix has them but some of the Giant’s in Maryland have scanner guns that you bring around the store with you.. you shop, scan, and bag as you go, then spend all of 2 minutes checking out. It’s genius!

  • Haha this is SO frustrating!! I had a bagger literally THROW all of my chobani yogurts into our bag the other day and it was so maddening!

    Awesome post!

  • Oh, I’m the worst. I have a ton of those bags in my pantry, and I never remember to put them in my car or take them to a store. 🙁 Eeep!

  • Is it common in your area to have grocery bag packers? I’m from Canada and have never had this experience in my life. It’s gotta be frustrating but can’t you just re-pack the stuff that bothers you?

    • Grock – Yep, the grocery stores here all have baggers that stand at the end of the checkout line and pack everything into the bag for you. It’s pretty common in these parts! That, or the checkout person does it.

      And yes, I could repack it, and I do…but once they chuck my tomatoes on the bottom of a bag and proceed to throw a can on top of them, the damage might already be done. Anyway, the point is that they should know not to put delicate produce in with cans and other things that could crush them, etc. etc. I shouldn’t have to sit over their shoulder and say “no no…put that in there, put those in there…” Of course I could move the bagger out of the way and insist to pack my own bags, but I’m just trying to make a point: they are being paid to pack my bags…they should do it right.

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